How to Reach your Financial Goal

If you ever want your money to work for you then you need to tell it what to do.

If you do not know what you want your money to do, you will find your money going to waste month after month.

Knowing what you want needs to be the first step in the process of creating wealth.

When determining your financial goals, always begin with the end in mind. What sort of financial shape do you want to be in 20 years from now? What sort of lifestyle do you want to be living?

Do you want your house paid off? Do you want to be paying for your children’s college education? How much do you want in retirement savings? What age do you want to retire at?

For example, I have set a goal to be debt free by April 2009. This is going to be tough considering the fact that I am $72,900 in debt right now.

When you are planning a road trip, the first decision is always where you want to go. The answers to the above questions will be on our financial road map to tell us the destination for our money.

The second step in planning is knowing your short term goals. What do you want to do in the next 2-5 years? Do you plan to have a baby? Buy a home? Buy a different vehicle? Go on a large vacation? Pay off your credit cards?

The answers to these questions are the roads you will follow on the journey to your ending destination.

Next we need to determine what needs to be done on a daily and monthly basis to be able to meet at of your goals. It is best to break each individual goal down into steps so you can feel a sense of accomplishment after each step is completed.

Here is an example on how to break a large financial goal down into steps:

Goal- Save 20% for a down payment plus money for closing costs on a new home

1. Save 3% for closing costs on my new home
2. Save 5% towards my down payment
3. Save 10% towards my down payment
4. Save 15% towards my down payment
5. Save 20% towards my down payment

This gives you five milestones to celebrate and helps keep you on track so you don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture. During each step just concentrate on getting through that one step as quickly as possible.

This will give you focus and drive and by having the steps small and obtainable it will keep your motivation level high.

I find that having a definite goal with a set date gives me the motivation to keep going. I have been paying down debts by earning extra money online.

If your financial goal is to save I suggest you try an
ING DIRECT – High Yield Savings with 4.50% annual percentage yield. They are a really great bank and I have always enjoyed using them.

Blogging to Earn Money

Blogging is a great way to make extra money and pay down debt. It gives you a free way to present your knowledge and ideas for others to enjoy and you can gain revenue in a variety of different ways.

This is what I have done so far to build an income from blogging:

Start A Blog
First I suggest getting a blog from either or I use blogger, but that is just because I like the interface. Start putting some decent content about what interests you the most. I currently have two blogs. This one and my one about health. This is because personal finance and health are my two favorite subjects.
Here is a link to check out my health blog if you are interested.

Apply for Google Adsense

Put some content on there and apply for a google adsense account. Use the link below on the left to sign up.

To read more about google adsense read my article, How to Earn from Google Adsense.

Build a Squidoo Lens
You don’t even have to have a website or a blog in order to build a Squidoo lens. The great thing about a squidoo lens is that it can actually make you money!

If you already have a blog or website a Squidoo Lens can help to bring more traffic to your site. If you don’t have a website that can act as a nice one page site for you to promote the programs you belong to such as CashCrate and others.

Sign up for an Affiliate Account with

I mainly did this for my health blog because I talk about health products all the time. I thought this would be a nice way to earn a small income from all of the product reviews I have been doing.

Another great program is Commission Junction. I have made a few bucks here and there from that program as well.

Other Programs

There are a lot more things I can do to help build an income from blogging, but most of them require a site that is at least 3 months old, that has a lot more content than I have and a lot more traffic. So I am going to have to wait on those. I will add them to my list here when I am able to implement them.

One program I am particularly interested is Text Link Ads. With their program you can get paid to put text ads on your site. It is really simple too because all you do is add some code to your site and they do the rest, while you get paid. However your blog needs to be at least 3 months old before you can apply to their program.

For information on how to get traffic to your site using articles read, How to Use Articles to Get Free Traffic.

I tried applying for, but they rejected my blog because I don’t receive enough traffic and it is not 90 days old. I will try re-applying around August or September. They pay you to post on certain topics and do reviews about companies and such.

Fairy Tale Treasures Review

I really like this GPT program. They pay out monthly and you can get paid via PayPal, Check or Amazon Gift Certificate.

Fairy Tale Treasures is a brand new site, just been around since April 2007. The great benefit to that is the fact that you have the opportunity to get a lot of referrals (if you wish to) because not very many people are members yet.

By investing several hours a week completing surveys, reading emails, and trying various products you can make money from the privacy of your home.

My Experience with Fairy Tale Treasures

I decided I wouldn’t even discuss Fairy Tale Treasures on my blog until I had recieved my first payout.

I joined on May 24, 2007 and took my first look around on the site. I got a $1 sign-up bonus right when I signed-up so I knew I only had to get $9 more in order to test out their payout system.

I really like how they have the offers seperated between new offers, free offers, finance offers, biz-ops offers, media offers, technology offers, trials, surveys and the shopping portal.

What I found particularly appealing was the fact that they had a special section just for really fast offers that ONLY require an email address or zip code. Those were paying about $0.60 each and could rack up very quickly.

I did a bunch of those and a few of the short 3-5 minute surveys and I was already at the minimum cash out. I had $10.90 the very next morning!

I emailed the owner to see if I could get an early cashout in order to show that they are legitimate and really do pay here on my blog.

* You must be at least 18 years old

* Only US residents at this time

* Only ONE account per household. If they find more than one account both accounts will be deleted.

* No Proxy Servers

Referral System

Increased your earnings by referring family and friends to Fairy Tale Treasures. When they complete offers you earn additional earnings as follows:

1st level referrals – 12%
2nd level referral – 4%
3rd level referral – 2%

Tips on how to make the most of Fairy Tale Treasures

1. Sign up with your mail email address, but use an alternate email address for the surveys and offers. That way you wont get junk mail in your inbox.

2. After you sign up, read the forums. They have a wealth of information and advice that will make your experience with Fairy Tale Treasures

3. Read my post on Must Read CashCrate Insider Information because the information applies to all Get Paid To sites.

4. If you follow all the tips above still having trouble getting your offers to clear, please visit my post on GPT Troubleshooting.

Big Buck Surveys – About 7-10 pages — complete the survey until you see the message that reads, “Thank you. Your information has been received successfully.”

Consumer Beat – same as Big Buck Surveys — several pages until you see “Thank you. Your information has been received successfully…”

Consumer Expression – complete the survey until you see the message that reads, “Thank you. Your information has been received successfully.” Any additional questions and surveys after this message do NOT need to be completed.

Consumer Promotion Center – Submit the second page.

My Elite Rewards – Submit 2nd page.

My Insider Deals – Enter your info and choose an offer on the 2nd page. Submit — and you are finished.

My Select Gifts – Submit the 2nd page.

Opinion Direct – Continue until you see the message in black at the top that reads, “Thank you. Your information has been received successfully…”

Rewards Gateway – Submit 2nd page.

Survey Networks – Complete the survey until you the message at the top that reads, “Thank you. Your information has been received successfully.”

The problem with PTC / PTR Programs

Paid-To-Click and Paid-To-Read programs are where you get paid to read emails and click on advertisements.

As a stay at home mother I was pretty desperate to find a way to make some extra money online and be home with my children at the same time.

So of course I signed up for several Paid-To-Read / Paid-To-Click programs and would get hundreds of emails in my inbox each day. In fact, it was quite overwhelming to me.

I would click away for hours a time, thinking that I was going to make some great money. Clicks ranged between 0.25 of a cent upwards of 1 cent each. I thought I was doing great. Clicking on all those ads made me feel as though I was doing something productive with my time.

It was be a huge accomplishment for me to be able to reach a $1 payout and collect it in my Pay Pal. It is funny how you feel about a dollar when you spend so much time making it.

It took me a while to realize that I was spending several hours a day on PTC / PTR programs just to make that one dollar.

On top of that, it was very time consuming and took me away from my children. I started to feel bad about what kind of mother I was becoming. The PTC / PTR programs also put tons of junk on my computer because I was visiting hundreds of web pages every day.

Some of the more popular paid-to-read programs out there today are Adbux and Clixsense.

Adbux claims that you will make 1 cent for every ad you click and 1 cent for every ad your referrals click. Adbux excitingly proclaims that you can make 10 cents a day! It gets better, if you get 10 referrals under you who also click 10 ads a day you will get a whole $1 a day!

I don’t know about you, but working to get 10 referrals under me so I can make $1 a day doesn’t really seem like it is worth the effort.

I mean, why should people commit to a program in order to make 10 cents a day when there are other more profitable ways to make money online?

I also checked out Clixsense and they seem more professional to me than Adbux does, but I still do not think either one of them are worth working for. Considering you will literally be making pennies an hour, you would have to spend your entire day clicking ads to make anything.

You may be wondering how I make money online if I don’t participate in these free paid-to-read and paid-to-click programs. It is simple; I use a different type of free program that pays me several dollars a day as opposed to several pennies.

I make much more by doing free surveys, participating in free offers and writing articles than I could ever get by simply clicking on ads.

ReadersPaid Review

In my pursuit to make a full time income online, I decided to sign up and try out and see what it is all about. I wanted to try it for a little while personally before determining if it is worth recommending to others.

I know that if I choose to promote and recommend a program on my blog, I am putting my reputation on the line. This is why I am taking my job of reviewing this program very seriously. Please read this entire review before deciding for yourself if it is something you are interested in or not.

Who Is ReadersPaid for? Who can Join?

ReadersPaid is for people who live in the United States, Canada and Australia.

You cannot sign up straight from their website, you have to be invited first.

What do you get paid to do?

Basically ReadersPaid will pay you to go to your ReadersPaid inbox and read the ads and do any incentive rewards. Some of them paying around $8 or more.

You have to keep your account active, this can be done by checking your Readers Paid inbox 3 times a week.

Failure to receive the ReadersPaid emails or to login to your ReadersPaid inbox for a period of over 30-days will set your account status to sleep. You then have a grace period of 15-days to re-activate your account before automatic cancellation takes effect.

It only takes a couple of minutes to check your inbox, so that should never be an issue.

How do you make money?

There are two types of rewards: Read rewards and Incentive rewards.

According to the ReadersPaid website, to earn money from Read rewards, all you need to do is check your inbox on the site once a day and read & click on all the new ads. This is supposed to take an average of 5 minutes a day.

They will post about 200 ads per month in your ReadersPaid inbox and they ads are only available for a short period of time. That is why it is important to check daily. After you do a read reward, it will credit to your earnings immediatley.

Incentive rewards are not as easy as the Read rewards, but they do pay more. They have 4 different types of Incentive rewards:

Email & ZipCode Campaigns that usually pay 20 to 45 cents each, just a simple email or zip code entry is required.

Free Info campaigns that usually pay between $1 and $8 Dollars each and require additional information such as: address, phone number, etc..

Free Trial campaigns that usually pay anywhere from $10 to $100 Dollars each and require a small Shipping & Handling fee

Cash Back campaigns where you earn cash back on all your online purchases. (I do not recommend buying anything you wouldn’t normally buy just to get cash back or else you will find yourself spending more than you are earning.)

How and When do you get paid?

The minimum payout is $25 and it is usually paid on the 20th day of every month via PayPal.

Residual Income/ Referral Program

ReadersPaid really emphasizes referrals and the importance of getting them in order to build a residual income. Like CashCrate, ReadersPaid also offers a $1 bonus incentive for every active referral from the USA.

According to the ReadersPaid website: “Most of our Members actually earn MORE than $100 in their first month and after only 6 months they are earning MONTHLY RESIDUALS of $3,000 to $6,000 a month … and so will YOU.”

I am quite a skeptic myself of big numbers like this and cannot guarantee you will make as much as they claim. claims that in order to get the earnings mentioned above you need to first be an active member yourself and recruit 10 people under you who will also be active members.

Then at that point your referrals also need to get 10 referrals under them.

(Sounds a lot like an MLM, except for the fact that it is no cost and you don’t have to sell anything.)

According to ReadersPaid: You will earn at least $360 a month for simply referring 10 ACTIVE MEMBERS and as soon as they each build their own power tream, you will earn over $6,000 a month for the rest of your life.

They have a little diagram on the site that shows how this is possible, I guess it would work if everyone truly followed through and each got their 10 active referrals underneath them.

Results of Researching Others Opinions

I did a check through google and some other search engines and forums to see what others thought of the ReadersPaid program.

I saw some people who have said they have been paid without any problems and saw some of them posting their paypal payments from the site. I could not find anyone complaining about them or claiming ReadersPaid to be a scam of any kind, which I take as a good sign.

Once I get my first payout I will post my paypal payment up here on my blog.

My Conclusion

My first impression of ReadersPaid is a very simple program and business model, but the website is not too user-friendly. I may be a bit biased though, I love the streamlined user-friendly site that CashCrate has created. (Click here to read my review on CashCrate)

However, this is not a bad 2nd choice for those who want something in addition to CashCrate. This is also good for those who like to recruit and get referrals because that is where the money is made in the ReadersPaid program.

I do not have an official thumbs up or thumbs down position on this program as of yet, it is still way to early for me to make that call.

I just wanted to post this information up here for you to decide for yourself if it is something you are interested in or not.

If you decide you want to try it out and see what happens, you can sign up with the Readers Paid.

I do not recommend this program to be used instead of CashCrate, I still think that CashCrate is by far the best program I have come across.

This is just a 2nd option for people who want to do more in addition to their CashCrate earnings.

Is it better to get rich slow?

We have all heard stories of people who have gotten rich overnight just to lose or blow their money in the course of a few years.

This is where the age old saying: “Easy Come, Easy Go” comes from. If this is the case, isn’t it better to get rich slow instead of get rick quick?

First of all, not everyone has the chance to get rich quick. There can only be so many lottery winners and only so many people are able to pick that one magical stock that goes up 1,000% in value over the course of a year.

However, it is within everyone’s grasp to become rich slowly. Anyone can become rich, it will just take some people more time to get there than others.

The first step in getting rich is to get control of your income. Income is our most valuable wealth building tool that we posses. I am not saying you have to go out and get a job that pays $100k or more. You can still become rich even on a modest salary.

There are actually two ways to get control of your income, that is to increase your incoming money and reduce your outgoing expenses.

The best way to reduce your outgoing expenses is to get on a written budget and pay off your debts. The quicker you pay off your debt, the sooner you can start building your wealth.

Debt is like a sickness to your wealth. It corrodes away at your income and costs you more and more each month as the interest builds. That is why it is so important to get rid of it and not take on any more debt ever again.

The one exception to this debt rule is when you buy a home, but if you want to continue building wealth, don’t let your mortgage payment be more than 25% of your take home pay.

After you get yourself out of debt you need a little nest egg for emergencies. The last thing you want to have happen on the road to wealth is to be debt free then have an emergency come up that you cannot afford. That would put you right back where you started, in debt again.

You should save about 3-6 months of expenses in an emergency fund and keep this in a nice savings account at the bank. This will give you security and aid you on the road of slowly becoming rich.

When you got your debt paid off and your emergency fund in place, you should be sitting fairly well financially. No longer is your income coming in only to be sent to creditors. You finally have a choice of what to do with your money. Now, instead of paying interest, you can start earning it and letting it work for you.

This would be a great time to really kick start the retirement savings. Putting at least 15% of your income away for your golden years.

Getting to this point early is important, so the magic of compound interest can do its job. You now have the freedom to save, invest and give money away as you see fit.

A lot of people think it is a great idea to use extra money to pay off their mortgage in order to free up even more of their income.

Imagine all the investment possibilities you can have when all of your income stays with you to be used as you see fit.

Remember from the story of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race.

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Just got a payment from Associated Content

Just got money in my PayPal from Associated Content this evening.

It was for 2 articles I wrote earlier this week.

I got $4.12 for my article “Review of the Fit for Life Diet” and
$3.11 for my article “The Power of Raw Chocolate”

So I got a total of $7.23 in my PayPal account.

I am going to immediately transfer this to my bank account to get it ready to apply towards debt.

Here is a picture showing how much and how often they have paid me since April 27th:

Make sure to also read my post on How to Make the Most out of Articles.

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All About Associated Content

Associated Content is a place where you get paid to write and submit articles. What makes them special from other paid to write sites, is the fact that you get paid up front right away as well as get a small amount for page views.

You can make anywhere between $3 – $10 per article that you write depending on topic and quality. I usually average about $4 for each of mine.What I love about Associated Content is the fact that you can write as much as you want. There is no limit. So if you had the goal of making $40 a day, you would know that you needed to come up with and write about 10 articles a day to make it happen.

You must live in the United States to be able to write for Associated Content.

Also, when you submit an article you need to make sure it is at least 400 words and is of decent quality (good grammar, spelling, etc…). The topic can be about anything you wish as long as it is informative.

Some great suggestions for original articles are: Resturant reviews, Product reviews, Company reviews, How-to Guides, Interviews, Real Estate Buying Tips, Stock or Investing Tips, City Activity Guides, Breaking News, Concert Reviews, Tech Advise, Travel Guides, Research Papers and More… Your options are almost endless.

Keep in mind that they don’t pay for short stories, poems, or movie reviews.

Your earnings on Associated Content are only limited to your ability to think of and write new articles. You could actually turn it into a full time job if you wanted to.

The reason why I have not made more from Associated Content is because I get writer’s block very easily and have a hard time coming up with new topics to write about. Some people have a gift for writing, for them Associated Content really pays off.

The payout is about 3 times a week. You are paid for every article that has been approved at those times. Every time you get an article approved they will give you an offer of a certain dollar amount that you can choose to accept or reject.

I also suggest you read my post on How to Make the Most out of Articles.

Want to easily write several articles a day? Check out my post on Content Speed Writing.

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All About CashCrate

CashCrate is by far the best program I have come across. I have found it very easy to consistently make a good amount of money every single day simply by taking part in surveys and doing free offers.

I set out on a search on the internet to see what people thought of CashCrate. I don’t want to waste any of my time on something that wasn’t proven to satisfy their members over a long period of time. I was very happy to discover that they are completley legitimate and pay their members very well.

How does it work?

Companies need consumers to try and review products, services, and websites and are willing to pay money to have them do so.

CashCrate gets paid by these advertisers for our participation and they pass 75% of that money back to us. That is how they are able to stay in business and the earnings stay sustainable.

How You Get Paid

There is a minimum pay out of $10. I cannot even begin to say how easy it is to reach payout. I made over $12 in the very first few hours after I signed-up. So the $10 payout can easily be reached in less than a day’s worth of participation.

Payments are processed on the 20th of the following month. So all of my May earnings will be sent to me by check on June 20th.

What do their checks look like?

Here is my proof of payment. This is my CashCrate check from my May 2007 earnings for $1,531.07.

You Can Succeed Without Referrals

I want to stress the fact that you can make great money on CashCrate without ever getting a single referral.

One way to do this is by taking part in the $0.80 daily survey that is always available once every 24 hours. Even just doing that and nothing else will get you a guaranteed $24 extra dollars a month.

You can also make an extra $100-$200 a month just by doing the free offers and trials available in the “complete offers” section.

I hate programs where you get pressured into signing other people up in order to make money and succeed.

However, if you like to share your success and want others to participate along side of you… CashCrate does have an awesome referral system. In fact, it is one of the best I have ever seen!

CashCrate Referral Program

First of all, with CashCrate you are paid for two levels of referrals. The first level being the people that directly sign up under you. The second level is people that sign up under the people that you recruited.

So you can get paid for who ever you get to sign up and who ever they get to sign up.

As soon as you join, you start at the bronze level. This allows you to earn 20% of what your 1st level referrals earn and 10% of what your second level referrals earn.

(Don’t worry, your referrals not getting paid less. This is extra money that you get paid in addition to what they get paid.)

The rest of the referral program tiers work like this:
Bronze – 0 Active Referrals – 20% First Level, 10% Second Level
Silver – 50 Active Referrals – 25% First Level, 10% Second Level
Gold – 150 Active Referrals – 25% First Level, 15% Second Level
Platinum – 300 Active Referrals – 30% First Level, 15% Second Level
Elite – 500 Active Referrals – 30% First Level, 20% Second Level

You will also get a $1.00 bonus for every active referral from the United States who completes their first offer.

I compared this referral program to the other GPT (Get Paid To) sites out there and CashCrate is the highest paying by far.

If you do decide to sign up for CashCrate, I ask that you please use my link. This will help me to reach my financial goal more quickly and get out of debt. It will also allow me to help you each step of the way on your journey to success in using CashCrate.

My goal is to reach Silver level by the end of May 2007.

Who Can Join?

Pretty much anyone can join. Even people from various other countries. Do keep in mind though, that people who are from English speaking countries will have a lot more offers and surveys available to them than those from other countries.

This is because advertisers usually want information and participation from people in the countries they sell their products in.

If you are from a non-english speaking country, there is still hope for you. There have been many successful people from other countries because they make money by getting referrals that live in english speaking countries signed up under them. So there is still a way to make CashCrate work for you if you are really interested.

I have been having a heck of a time with people stealing my CashCrate review. Please write your own.A few tips to make the most out of Cash Crate 1. Sign up with your main email address so you can recieve notifications and such, but use an alternate email address for the surveys and offers. That way you wont get junk mail in your inbox.

2. After you sign up, read the forums. They have a wealth of information and advice that will make your experience with CashCrate more successful.

3. Read my post on Must Read CashCrate Insider Information

If you follow all the tips above still having trouble getting your offers to clear, please visit my post on GPT Troubleshooting.

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